I remember the days when the least of my concerns was whether or not there would be a fog delay at school or whether I might have forgotten lunch money on my way out the door. Sometimes, my biggest “problem” was worrying about whether or not my mom would be willing to drive me to a friend’s house so that I could spend the night.
Because, stress, people. Stress.
I miss those days on occasion. I would love to have next to nothing to worry about. Sometimes, I would take forgetting my lunch money when I’m on my way to a day spent in the 11th grade over grocery shopping with two children who want everything in sight. It’s give and take, I guess.
I remember people-watching when I was younger. It’s a habit that I still have. I would spy on those other beings called “adults” from the little kid table at family functions. They seemed to have unspoken agreements and mannerisms that escaped my young mind. Probably like it is for almost any little kid, adult watching was an interesting pastime for me. And of course, one well-liked activity for children is to pretend to be a grown up. When I was younger, I would play dress up on occasion, convinced that I was all-that and a bag of makeup…which I wasn’t supposed to be playing with…because it was my mom’s.
Then of course, once you reach a certain age in adolescence, you think that you ARE grown up. Has the phrase, “excuse me, mom, but I am 15 now…” ever popped out of your mouth??
If it has, don’t worry, you aren’t alone in thanking your lucky stars that your parents didn’t rip your head off on the spot.
Here are 5 “mysteries” about grownups that I used to wonder about, now solved.
1.) What do parents do after they put the kids to bed??
I see this curiosity now in my son. He’s recently moved to his new big boy bed and has already begun using “I have to go pee pee” as an excuse to come downstairs and check on mommy and daddy. I can tell that he feels a rush of excitement to still be awake and sometimes he asks if he can stay up even longer with us. Silly little boy…NO WAY. I don’t know why he wants to stay up. For all of his efforts, the most he will see is mommy and daddy in a pre-vegetative state on the sofa or folding laundry when there aren’t little hands around to unfold it again. He doesn’t see that, he only sees a mystery as to just what mommy and daddy do when he isn’t around. Because mommy and daddy actually existing without children in tow seems impossible. He’ll figure it all out one day, as Rob and I have since becoming parents. Mommy and daddy aren’t doing anything amazing, we are just being mommy and daddy, sans babies, for a few hours. Now, seriously, go back to sleep.
2.) What is that they are drinking??
I remember the first time that I tasted both beer and coffee. When I snuck a taste of beer, I was behind a chair in the living room and took a sip of the measly little bit left in my dad’s can. It tasted like death. I dumped the rest out on the carpet, emerged from my hiding spot and decided that my dad was nuts for enjoying such an awful beverage. And coffee. Yes, coffee. I remember confidently grabbing the handle on a pot of freshly made coffee when I went to work with my dad one day. I poured some in a cup and drank it BLACK. That was dumb. It also, coincidentally, tasted like death. Flash forward 20 years to present time and I, on occasion, like to enjoy a drink myself. Not terribly often, but sometimes. And I have to have my coffee in the morning. I can’t explain the allure of such drinks to a child. It just isn’t something their little minds can comprehend. I don’t plan on having a conversation about alcohol for quite some time. As for coffee, it was something that I personally never thought I would enjoy, much less drink everyday. They are both acquired tastes…and they taste much better after a long day of ridiculousness. One day, when they are either of age or have their own household to run, I’m sure my kids will realize the concept of earning a drink. Hopefully, they crave the right drink for the right time of day. 😉
3.) Why does mom always worry about the house being messy??
I never understood why my mom cared so much about our
occasionally usually messy house. I think that kids have on special goggles so as to remain oblivious to the messes. Rain or shine, or messy kitchen floors and soap scum, they will play on. My goggles have since been removed and now I find myself going nuts over some of the very same things as my own mother. A large part of this stress is because I have my own house to take care of now. There is no greater eye opener than having responsibility to call your very own. My kids may not understand why I care SO much that they just spilled their glass of milk all over the kitchen floor, because they don’t yet have a kitchen floor of their own that they just mopped and can’t keep clean for more than five minutes. Keeping the house clean is like a long, drawn out war. It’s won incrementally and in stages. Until the kids move out, anyway.
4.) Why do they laugh at my “problems??”
I don’t advocate being patronizing to your kids. After all, to young minds, problems that seem trivial now and that you know, from personal experiences, won’t last forever or matter five years from now seem enormous to them. Everyone has to learn to navigate this world and all of its drama at some point. That said…I have read some of my journals from 10 years ago and…eww. The overly dramatic and slightly self centered kid that wrote those things could not have been me, right?? Oh, yes it was. Reading about my worry over popularity, physical appearance, girlfriend cattiness and parents who just don’t “get it” was hard. When I lamented about being tired because I was woken up before 10 on a Saturday, or when I would roll my eyes because my mom asked me to go and grab something from out of the car or take out the trash….I can see WHY my mother just gave me the, “oh, PLEASE, child…” look and went along with her business. In the past six months I have been watching a lot of Roseanne. She says the things that I sometimes want to say, and her dry humor and approach to parenting, while not exactly like my own, was refreshing. I relate to that show so much now that I am a mom. Rob and I were both watching an episode recently and we both had to laugh at loud when the oldest child, Becky, laments, “I guess that I am the only one who ever has to sacrifice anything around here!!” Oh, PLEASE, child.
5. Why can’t they keep up with me?
Now I know why my mother asked for quiet time from us when we were children. Now I understand why all she wanted to do when we went to the beach was to sit in her lawn chair and read a book. I understand why she just wanted silence and order in her home. I understand why she was frazzled sometimes at the grocery store. I understand why all she wanted in the morning was to not be spoken to before she had some coffee. I get it now. Because all of those things sound just peachy to me.
There you have it! If you had any curiosity left about any of those things, hopefully I have solved them. And if you didn’t, you already knew why adults like Corona, Starbucks and naps.